It always intrigues me to watch a young child with his parent or grandparent. The child watches everything that the adult is doing. If at all possible, the child will imitate the adult in an effort to be just like the person that is their protector. As I watched a group of family members show their children how to safely use sparklers to celebrate the holiday yesterday, it was evident that the children were making efforts to follow the examples of the adults. However, the older the child, the less the child seemed to follow the adult direction. Isn't it interesting what children do as they become more independent. It reminded me again of how fleeting and short these important early childhood years are for those young ones.
The experience also reminded me how vulnerable and delicate our young children are when watching their parent or grandparent. When adults are good examples and at the same time challenge the child to think and create their own answers, a resilient child is created. I remember reading some of the research on Multiple Intelligences that was a theory offered by Howard Gardner. In one of his documents he mentioned how he didn't want his children to redo the same things that he had done. He wanted them to create new things and new ideas. Being a great example to children and encouraging them to develop thinking skills will help carry these children into a future we can't predict.